- Books, Literature, and Writing
How to Write and Sell Articles
How to Write and Sell Articles
If you want to know how to write and sell articles, you're in the right place. It's been over two decades now since I figured out how to do it, but the thrill of an article acceptance has never gone away. I'm mostly asked to write articles in advance now, so I don't work for magazines like I used to; I just write for one or two I like (and the ones that seem to like me!) and even then only occasionally. I can't remember the last time I actually wrote for a magazine, to be honest. And that suits me fine.
Writing is a great part time occupation, but if you work hard at it you have the chance to do it full time. I now take on ghostwriting work and copywriting work, mostly online, and there is no shortage of it once you get yourself out there.
This lens was created to share the story of how I first started to sell my articles. I'm hoping that by doing this I can help you get further along the road towards your own acceptances.
The best advice at this stage? Read on, learn from what I did and persevere. I am now full time, purely because I have so many sources of online writing jobs and magazine work that I can't manage it all part time anymore - so believe me when I say it CAN be done. In the end it all depends on whether you're ready to put in the effort or not. There are plenty of online writing gigs out there for everyone - not to mention all the magazines you can write for as well.
Read this article on how to earn money with online writing, then check back here to find out more.
You can also read another new piece of mine about making sure you are using all the best ways to find online ghostwriting jobs.
Let's get going!
Photo image credit: my own
How I started selling my articles
(otherwise known as a nine month struggle...)
I remember it as if it was yesterday. I sweated blood to get my first article idea, and of course I sent it off to the biggest women's magazine in the country.
With hindsight there was no way it was going to be accepted, but I was still disappointed when it came back just days after I'd sent it.
I can remember the day things changed, and I wrote what would become my first accepted article.
I've long had a love of cats, and in the UK at the time there was a cat magazine with a circulation of around 25,000 readers. I submitted a short 500 word piece to them... and received an acceptance letter just days later.
I remember receiving that envelope. Not a thick one with a manuscript inside, but a thin one that could only contain a letter of acceptance. I got the princely sum of Â£12.50 for that article, but I was so delighted with my success I sat down and spent the rest of the day writing more articles.
Days later I notched up my second acceptance, and I've never looked back. I've had disappointments, of course, but by and large I've done very well.
You can too.
Read my growing group of writing lenses and benefit from my years of experience. Hey, I'm beginning to sound old now...
Visit Online Freelance Writing Jobs and find out how to get a foot in the door of paid online writing, and check out Online Content Copywriting Jobs to discover a whole world of online writing jobs YOU can apply for today.
What's that saying - the longest journey starts with a single step? Writing is very much like that. But the sooner you start your own journey towards publication, the sooner you'll get there. And when you do, nothing else beats it.
I am now writing e-books, articles and blogs for clients worldwide, and have never been happier. That's what happens when you hone your skills and make the most of them.
A quick poll for you
Have you sold your first article yet?
7 Steps to Getting Your First Article Published and Paid For
Want to get published and paid for it? Lots of people want to know how to write and sell articles - but not all of them are prepared to put the work in that is required to see it happen. That is a shame because it's not as hard to get published as you might think. You just need to make sure you go about it in the right way.
This is what you need to do.
1. Aim low to start with. Don't aim for the huge mass market women's weeklies. They have a lot of competition and beginners are better off to go elsewhere and leave those markets for later.
2. Don't dismiss the internet. There are plenty of websites that will pay for submissions. Do some research to see if there are any you like the look of.
3. Query your ideas before writing the article. This will save you wasting time writing something that doesn't have a solid market.
4. Stick to what you know. There will be plenty of time to branch out later on, but for now you need to make things as easy as possible for yourself.
5. Don't put money first. It's good that you want to get paid for your work, but don't be blinded by dollar signs all the time. Refer back to step one if you need any clarification!
6. Present your work in a professional manner. Find out how the market you want to submit to likes articles to be presented to them and follow it to the letter.
7. Finally, make sure you get your facts right. This refers to every single part of every submission you ever make. Not only should the article be factually correct, but you should also make sure you are sending it to the correct person - and in the correct manner. Do they accept email submissions? Find out before you attach it and email it off.
There is plenty more to writing and selling articles, of course, but if you bear the above seven points in mind you will be off to a roaring start.
Another poll question
Do you agree with the 7 steps outlined above?
Make Money Writing: Write and Sell Articles - by Angela Booth
I subscribe to Angela's email list and every single email has at least one gem of information in it. I thoroughly recommend you find out more about her and her various writing courses and programs.
An excerpt from my 4 step blueprint to selling articles successfully
I wrote this book to help the thousands of struggling writers out there who are trying to get that all important first acceptance under their belts. This book (if you follow the advice given) will speed up your progress and steer you away from making the common mistakes that prevent many people from getting published.
Because the fact is, there's no great mystery to succeeding at article writing. You can do it if you follow the four step blueprint provided within this book. All that is required is to follow it step by step, apply the principles to your own work, and read it often to make sure you are staying on track.
The one thing I cannot provide you with is perseverance. You need to be able to keep going regardless of how many rejection slips you get. You may be a quick learner and only get a few. You may take longer to really get to grips with the principles in this book, and acquire enough slips to paper the loo with. No matter. Perseverance will always - ALWAYS - get you from A to B, whatever the distance between the two points is. Always remember that.
And enjoy the journey. My journey took nine months (and was probably a good deal more painful than the average pregnancy and birth), but I learned such a lot along the way. Yes the rejections were disappointing, but I learned the lessons they brought, and I got there in the end.
And let me tell you, when you finally succeed, and you start to realise the rewards that being a published writer can bring, you'll realise all the hard work and effort (and yes, even the disappointments) is worth it.
So... let's begin to find out more about how to write and sell articles.
The complete four step blueprint is available to buy here.
You can't beat a bit of self promotion to get your writing career started.
Part of being a successful writer is getting into the habit of promoting your skills by letting people know you are there - whether that's by having your own website, querying editors with ideas for articles, or applying for jobs you've found on online job boards (look for my Online Freelance Writing Jobs lens in the LensRoll on the right to see how and where to find these jobs right now!).
The good news is, this part gets easier the longer you do it. The trick is getting started!
That's why I've launched a brand new lens called "How to Build a Marketing Blog that Boosts Your Business". It reveals the reasons why you should set up your own blog now if you want to promote yourself as a writer.
There's plenty there to help you get started, and I'll be developing it over time as well, so make sure you bookmark it! I hope you enjoy it and I'd love to hear your feedback.
A poll about promotion
Do you think self promotion is important if you want to sell your articles?
Useful guides for beginning article writers on Amazon
Let's duel on selling articles!
Do you think it is really possible to earn a decent income from writing articles?
Other Writing Lenses
Online freelance writing jobs
Welcome to my lens which focuses on how to make money - either as an extra income or a full time job - by writing for the internet. And yes, it can be done -...
Find online freelance copywriting and ghostwriting jobs
Welcome! This is the companion lens to Online Freelance Writing Jobs, with plenty of information on how to become a successful copywriter and/or ghostwriter ...
Write niche interest articles faster and earn more
Writing articles for websites tends to bring in varying amounts of money. We've all come across the people who pay a dollar for a five hundred word article...
Gifts for Writers
Writers are easy people to buy gifts for, whether it's writing gifts for Christmas or writing presents for any other time of year. There's books, jou...
Advice, blogs, courses and resources for writers
This lens is all about giving something back. When I first started writing I was on my own. It was sheer determination and pigheadedness that got me into pri...
Polls about paid writing jobs and gigs
Yes, there are two excellent reasons for building this lens. The first one is that I have quite a few writing lenses on Squidoo now, and they seem to be pret...
Find out more about me via my lensography
Allison Whitehead's Lensography
Writer, reader, cat owner (or cat possession, still not sure which), partner, business owner, food lover, blogger, tennis fan, cinema goer, bread baker...